This time of year, in the lead up to Christmas (wooo) so many people get stuck in a vicious circle of over indulgence followed by calorie restriction.
Sadly, many health conscious people spend their days meticulously counting the number of calories, or macros they consume, creating an unhealthy obsession and a desire to lose weight. I for one used to revolve my entire day around this restrictive behaviour. And what’s worse is that food and marketing companies have latched on to the desires of the un educated public, advertising foods with 0% fat and lower calories!
If this all sounds a little overwhelming, don’t panic. I hope this post will clear up some calorie myths and help you on your way to a healthier relationship with food.
Low calorie foods, such as fat free yoghurt, have in fact simply been stripped of the fats they originally contained. Sugars are replaced with sweeteners, and artificial flavour enhancers are used in a desperate attempt to make the products taste good without the natural fat. So, whilst they are low calorie, they are also pumped with artificial nastiness!
By eating a large amount of low calorie products you are actually just depriving yourself of vital nutrients and unknowingly replacing these with chemicals.
The truth is, that when you deprive your body of the nutrients and calories it needs to function, you will end each day with undeniable cravings for refined carbohydrates and sugars. This is simply because you have restricted yourself to an extent where your body will desperately be seeking ways to gain a spike in energy.
But, there is a solution to this vicious cycle of restriction and binging my friends. Stop counting!
Once you break the habit of calorie counting, and start focusing on nourishing yourself with whole, predominantly plant based foods, the sugar cravings will decrease like crazy.
For example, foods like green veggies, brown rice, wholemeal bread, oats, fruits, nuts, homemade soups etc… really can help shift your focus from calories, to nutrition. After about two weeks of eating this way, eating until satisfied and focusing on nourishment I instantly began to feel differently about food. And months later my relationship with hunger and calories is drastically different.
Eating well can be so simple you see!
Today I never ever count the calories in my meals, I count the colours, the vibrant veggies! And my energy levels are through the roof! And if I’m craving a cake it’s probably because I need a cake. So guess what… I eat one!
If you’re struggling with restriction or just feel like you have a more negative than positive relationship with food I really truly believe that eating wholefoods in abundance is the way forward. Start by just shopping for foods that are as unprocessed as possible and experiment with fresh new recipes. Educate yourself on the hidden messages in food labels and really find what works for you.
Yes, everyone is different, but we are all human. Hungry is never healthy.
Lots of love,
Ps if you fancy an eye opening read check out Joanna Blythman’s book Swallow This as she unpicks the truth behind chemicals in our food. It’s available on amazon http://www.amazon.co.uk/Swallow-This-Serving-Industrys-Darkest/dp/0007548338/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1449529626&sr=1-1&keywords=food+industry